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EU airport traffic now in recession

Two speed Europe has lead to a mere +0.5% growth of overll European passenger traffic, since some airports are still experiencing recession, while others feature unimpressive growth.
BRUSSELS - Following a sustained period of almost 17 months during which freight traffic has been in recession, the latest traffic figures for Europe’s airports reveal flat growth for overall European passenger traffic with EU passenger traffic falling into recession.

Overall European passenger traffic in the month of October reported growth of just +0.5%. However, this positive figure is down to a ‘two speed Europe’ with passenger traffic growth at EU airports recording a decrease: -1.3% while non-EU airports saw an average +7.8% increase. These figures also take into account the impact of Hurricane Sandy which reduced passenger traffic by -0.15%. This impact was felt the most at hub airports, due to the concentration of transatlantic traffic at these airports.

The overall freight traffic among European airports continued to decline, recording -2.2% in October, while aircraft movements (an indicator of airline capacity) at European airports also decreased by -1.5%.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “With passenger & freight traffic in the EU market recording firmly negative results*, there is no escaping the deepening impact of the European sovereign debt crisis on the real economy. For the first time since October 2009, more than half of Europe's airports are experiencing declines in passenger traffic.”

The contrasting performance of national markets continues to evolve with traffic in Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece, Latvia, Spain, Hungary and Italy firmly in recession, while traffic in the UK, France, Malta and Belgium is essentially flat. Traffic in Ireland & Portugal is showing encouraging signs of recovery, while countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden are recording unimpressive growth. Meanwhile, non-EU markets like Iceland, Russia, Turkey & Moldova continue to register dynamic double-digit growth.

Airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year (Group 1), airports welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers (Group 2), airports welcoming between 5 and 10 million passengers (Group 3) and airports welcoming less than 5 million passengers per year (Group 4) reported for October 2012 an average increase of +0.9%, +1.5%, -0.3% and -1.9% respectively when compared with October 2011.

Airports that experienced the highest increase in passenger traffic per group, when comparing October 2012 with October 2011, include:
  • GROUP 1 airports – Istanbul IST (+19.1%), Moscow DME (+9.4%), London LGW (+2.2%), Antalya (+1.9%) and Munich (+1.8%)
  • GROUP 2 airports – Moscow SVO (+15.6%), Istanbul SAW (+14.9%), Dublin (+10.0%), Berlin TXL (+7.8%) and Nice (+5.4%)
  • GROUP 3 airports – Bucharest (+46.4%), St Petersburg (+15.1%), Ankara (+9.8%), Toulouse TLS (+9.5%) and Charleroi (+8.6%)
  • GROUP 4 airports – Arad (+2,317.3%), Varna (+60.8%), Chita (+46.9%), Vatry (+35.1%) and Sandefjord (+34.4%)  
The 'ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report - October 2012' includes 183 airports in total.These airports represent over 88% of European passenger traffic.

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